Monday, June 19, 2006

Nexus, R.I.P.

I caught it on The Comics Reporter that the attempted resurection of one of my most favorite titles Nexus has been aborted.

Apparently scuttled by Rude, citing differences in his expectations and Mike Baron's scripts. This doesn't surprise me that much, and to be honest, it's kind of a relief. After the series left First Comics, and hopped over to Dark Horse, the tone of the stories shifted. The pre-Dark Horse had a kind of magic; both men were flexing their individual creative talents to the limit. Baron crafted serious stories that mixed morality and philosophy, while Rude provided beautiful artwork that somehow incorporated all of his influences, yet never aped them. (Which reminds me of that editorial John Byrne wrote sometime after Jack Kirby passed away, intimating that he might be the successor to the King. I remember reading that and thinking, "No way. If anyone is, it's Steve Rude.")

After they went to Dark Horse, the stories seemed to get away from the original tone. Maybe it was because it was now being published as a series of minis. Both men had spent some time working for more mainstream publishers, so I chalked it all up to them somehow losing that independent spirit. Later, as I noticed that the writing seemed to cater more and more to Rude's interests, I suspected that it was the artist.

This theory would be verified later in interviews with Rude in Comics Journal, most notably in his opinion that the comics from the 60's were far more superior than anything published since. During this time he was doing limited runs on Marvel comics, and he was doing them flat-out 60's style. It seemed that he only aspired to recreate a style from the past, and it was hard to fathom. Later he published the Moth, which I bought in support, but I just couldn't get into.

So, I'm a bit relieved. As much as I would love to have a new Nexus series, maybe this is for the best.


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